Views & Reviews In and Out of Hospital

Bombs and tunnels

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 23 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1136
  1. James Owen Drife, emeritus professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Leeds
  1. J.O.Drife{at}

Visiting Vietnam in 2011 produces mixed feelings if you were a student in the 1960s. The “American war,” as of course the Vietnamese people call it, was beginning when I entered medical school and ending when I graduated. The British prime minister had resisted US pressure to send troops (those were the days, eh?) but did not denounce America’s epic struggle to save the world from communism.

As our cruise ship approached Hai Phong I felt more than my …

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